The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (Commencement No 4), Transitional and Savings Provisions Regulations 2016 were published this week. The regulations bring into force certain provisions of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (the “Act”) with varying effective dates.
The Act received royal assent on 26 March 2015 and its provisions come into effect in stages. The Act covers a wide range of matters, but is designed, in part, to enhance the trust and transparency of UK companies and to improve the quality and accuracy of information maintained at Companies House. It is also designed to improve transparency around company ownership and to strengthen rules regarding misconduct by directors.
The main corporate aspects of the Act are set out in Parts 7 to 9 of the Act:
- Part 7 deals with measures aimed at increasing transparency around who controls UK companies and to deter and sanction those who hide their interests;
- Part 8 deals with simplifying company filing requirements to reduce duplication and improve flexibility in companies' dealings with the Registrar; and
- Part 9 contains amendments to the directors’ disqualification regime to strengthen the rules that prevent an individual from acting as a director where that individual has committed misconduct.
Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (Commencement No 4), Transitional and Savings Provisions Regulations 2016
The provisions brought into force by the Commencement No. 4 regulations include:
- Regulation 3, which brings s.102 (removal from register of material about directors) and s. 107 (reports of office holders on conduct of directors of insolvent companies) into force on 6 April 2016;
- Regulation 5, which brings s.92 (duty to deliver confirmation statement instead of annual returns), for the purpose of enabling the registrar to impose the requirements referred to in section 853F(6) of the Companies Act 2006 about the form in which shareholder information is delivered to the registrar into force on 1 May 2016; and
- Regulation 6, which brings the following sections into force on 30 June 2016:
- s.92 (to the extent not in force by virtue of regulation 5);
- s.93 (section 92: related amendments) so far as not yet in force;
- s.94 and Schedule 5 (option for companies to keep information on central register);
- s.96 (protection of information about a person's date of birth) so far as not yet in force;
- s.97 and Schedule 6 (contents of statements of capital); and
- s.98 (public companies: information about aggregate amount paid upon shares).